Tuesday, October 19, 2021

This week is Small Business Week in BC! 

Throughout the pandemic small businesses have worked hard to adapt, follow covid protocols, and make the BC Vaccine Card work. Let’s show them some extra appreciation this week! 

If you live in Saanich South, email my office by the end of this week and let us know what your favourite small business in Saanich South is for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to that business! The winner will be chosen via a random draw the following week.

Here's what you need to participate:
  • Email my office at Lana.Popham.MLA@leg.bc.ca by October 23rd and tell us what your favourite small business in Saanich South is!
  • You must live in Saanich South, so please include your postal code in your submission. The small business you choose must also be in Saanich South.
What is a small business? A small business is a business with fewer than 50 employees!

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions. I’m looking forward to hearing about all of your favourite small businesses!


Thursday, October 14, 2021

When we formed government in 2017, the system of mental health and addictions care in this province was a fragmented system of services that had been neglected for far too long and didn’t meet people’s needs.

For the past four years our government has been busy patching holes to get people the care they need, and we have also been developing a comprehensive plan to make the systemic change required to effectively deal with the drug poisoning crisis and the additional impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on people’s mental health. 

This week we announced an investment of $132 million over the next three years to transform treatment and recovery services for people living with addiction. 

This funding will increase services across all regions of the province and across the continuum of care, including withdrawal management, transition and assessment, treatment, and aftercare services. Included are 65 new or enhanced services, more than 130 new staff, and approximately 195 new treatment beds. 

Island Health will see things like new residential treatment beds to support women and the extension of the Indigenous-led (Gwa'sala-'nakwaxda'xw) partnership program for alcohol treatment and recovery in Port Hardy. 
These are just some of the many programs and services that will be rolled out over the next three years. We’ll be working with health authorities to plan and implement a full set of services. 

For more information on this historic investment, visit this page. 


Thursday, October 7, 2021


This week, I returned to the Legislature to kick off our fall sitting. All MLAs are fully vaccinated, and this week, for the first time, we were all able to come together in person to bring forward and discuss legislation and vote on issues that matter to British Columbians and build a stronger BC.  
It was a great reminder that vaccinations are the key to putting this pandemic behind us.  
If you have a friend or family member who is eligible but still hasn’t gotten their COVID-19 vaccine, please take some time this weekend to talk to them. Listen to their concerns, understand their perspective, and help them find clear, accurate information that answers their questions. Whey they’re ready, you can help them register for an appointment or find a nearby drop-in clinic by clicking here.  
Here are a few updates about actions our government took this week: 
Vaccinations required for visitors to health care facilities 
Starting October 12, people who wish to visit friends and loved ones in long-term care homes must show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. This is an important step to protect some of the most vulnerable in our province. Beginning on October 26, this will extend to include visitors to acute care and community care settings. These steps build on other actions we’ve taken, including requiring vaccinations for all staff in these facilities. 
Applications open for Young Leaders Council 
The voices of young people matter. We're launching applications to select up to 15 young people aged 14-26 for the StrongerBC Young Leaders Council. These youth will meet regularly and provide input to the Premier’s Special Advisor on Youth, MLA Brittny Anderson. Please encourage young people in your life to apply to join the Young Leaders Council!
Mandatory training for new commercial truck drivers 
We all want our roads and highways to be as safe as possible. The new mandatory training requirement will ensure that new commercial truck drivers have the skills and experience they need to safely navigate BC roads in all kinds of weather. As of October 18, drivers applying for a Class 1 license will have to show proof of completing the training. This will make our roads safer for everyone. You can learn more here

Thank you,

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

With the Legislature back in session this week I’d like to take this opportunity to share with you a few updates from the past couple weeks.
Making the switch to clean electricity
The climate crisis demands urgent action, and our province has the clean electricity resources to power a sustainable future. Last week we announced our 5-year plan to make it easier and more affordable for people to use made-in-B.C. clean power in place of fossil fuels.

This plan is projected to help us avoid an additional 930,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by the end of 2025. That is equivalent to taking 200,000 cars off the road. 

As more and more daily activities like driving, heating our homes, and producing industrial goods switch from fossil fuels to clean electricity, we will reduce carbon emissions and make our province less polluting and more efficient.

Capping fees for restaurants
With many people ordering delivery and takeout during the pandemic, restaurants have depended more and more on delivery services and apps to get their food safely to customers.

Last December, we responded to the calls of the restaurant industry and put a cap on the fees that these delivery services can charge to restaurants. This cap provided much-needed relief for restaurants trying to stay afloat and put more money back into the pockets of people working in the restaurant industry.
Last week, we extended this cap until the end of 2021, so we can continue helping restaurants and the more than 180,000 people they employ in B.C.
Helping more people to get good tech jobs
We are also partnering with B.C.’s growing tech sector to help more people get jobs in tech, including people who are under-represented in the industry such as women, LGBTQ2S+ people, Black, Indigenous and people of colour, people with disabilities or neurodiversity, and more. 

B.C. companies can apply for a grant of up to $10,000 to hire new tech roles. The program is open to everyone, but priority will be given to people from under-represented groups.